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Which bike is easier to turn into a cafe racer?

This is a discussion on Which bike is easier to turn into a cafe racer? within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; with a 650sc, fix it up and take it to the store to get your pepsi. i bought a 4-1 pipe for the one i ...

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Thread: Which bike is easier to turn into a cafe racer?

  1. #31
    Senior Member dirkchecken's Avatar
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    with a 650sc, fix it up and take it to the store to get your pepsi. i bought a 4-1 pipe for the one i had plus k and n air filters , i even found a oil cooler for it. put some superbike bend bars on it and cruise around. the carbs suck thou. if the bike been laying around you will need to clean them several times. only good thing is it has screw in idle jets compared to the press in ones from the 81 model. Attachment 6137
    Last edited by dirkchecken; 03-24-2014 at 05:28 PM.
    I like my shocks like I like my women. Cheap and Chinese.

  2. #32
    Senior Member steveo's Avatar
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    You might be interested in this 550 Nighthawk which I built about 4 years ago. I had just been made redundant, and saw a standard 550sc on ebay. It had no MOT, but was told by the the previous owner that she had recently taken the bike out and it ran well, also all chrome etc was really nice. So being a complete mug I bought the bike unseen thinking I could make a few pounds for a weeks work. It was delivered a week later.... bollocks what have I done.
    The tyres were flat, front brake seized solid, choke cable broken, and the coils were wired up incorrectly. So the bike wouldn't start let alone ride. In fact it was a real dog.
    I was going to loose money (which I couldn't afford) if I sold it on or just got it through the MOT.
    So I thought in for a penny in for a pound, and eventually decided to have a go at a "cafe racer" of sorts.
    I now I'm leaving myself wide open for some abuse over the pod filters and lack of rearsets, but hey-ho this is how it turned out, and I didn't loose any money.
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    Last edited by steveo; 03-24-2014 at 06:16 PM.

  3. #33
    Junior Member Jumlas22's Avatar
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    WOW sweet ham hoc of antioc, thats a real beauty you have on your hands!

    for the CB650sc nighthawk (18000 miles, running) i have as an option, as well as a barely used CB550(7000 miles, very much running) and a not so barely used CB350(20000 miles haha, running). so im honing in on something!

    as i progress ill keep this up to date, as i am sure everyone is pining to hear how this newbie turned out haha.

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  5. #34
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    they never need "a little carb cleaning". This isn't sweeping out the corners with a broom, it is careful disassembly, labeling everything, and using caustic chemicals and special tools to measure and put everything back to spec.

    Don't buy anything that is a "factory chopper". LTD, Custom, Special, and Limited are to be avoided or you will cry yourself to sleep at night.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  6. #35
    Junior Member Jumlas22's Avatar
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    being an engineer, that is what i like to do most. careful dissasembly and re assembly. the chemicals area i am a bit wary of but i have the ability to procure USP<797> protection so that wont be a problem either.

    and yes i know to avoid anybody elses work. but what would the CB650"sc" be considered. limited edition? or special edition?

    also i have a plan during certain assemblies, to attach a go-pro to my forhead so i can retrace steps if need be. anybody else try this? is it an effect method for documentation combined with proper part catagorization/labeling and placement?

  7. #36
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    sc usually means nighthawk. The basic tell tales are 16" rear rim size and leading axle forks. Those are the things you would need to replace to get it close to standard or sporting spec. Standard spec bikes are usually available for the same money if you hunt around so consider these a "free upgrade" or buying smart. I say close to spec because usually the frames are raked differently as well and unless you are into cutting an welding it's probably if you look for a standard or sport.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  8. #37
    Senior Member dirkchecken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumlas22 View Post
    also i have a plan during certain assemblies, to attach a go-pro to my forhead so i can retrace steps if need be. anybody else try this? is it an effect method for documentation combined with proper part catagorization/labeling and placement?
    wouldnt think you need to do all this. the engine is easy to work on. dont break a cylinder stud like i did thou. the hardest part about putting the engine together is making sure the cam chain tensioner goes in the right place. theres not many parts to the engine. valves are easy to adjust too. the SC= Shi# Custom ? maybe
    I like my shocks like I like my women. Cheap and Chinese.

  9. #38
    Junior Member Jumlas22's Avatar
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    yea standard spec is where i want to be headed so if it were up to me id head in the direction of the CB350 or 550 but i cant control the minds of the people selling them. as for welding and cutting. i have had a little experience with it when doing tensile testing work but i dont own any of that equipment, so thats out.

    hahaha sh# custom. being someone who has never touched the inside of an engine, i feel aprehensive to open her up without a friend that has had experience but one day ill open her up. and if i do record it with my go-pro, it may prove for a laugh on youtube

    for now though. i have my number out to a few sellers but nobody is getting back to me *sigh*

  10. #39
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    don't limit yourself to your local pool. I have traveled hours for a bike before if it is the right bike. Probably not smart to do for your first old bike but something 100 miles away (2 hours) probably doesn't kill you to look at.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  11. #40
    Senior Member Tanshanomi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geeto67 View Post
    don't limit yourself to your local pool. I have traveled hours for a bike before if it is the right bike. Probably not smart to do for your first old bike but something 100 miles away (2 hours) probably doesn't kill you to look at.
    On the other hand, if you travel to buy a bike, it can be very tempting to buy something that turns out to be less than you expected just because you put time and effort into the trip. I recently drove 90 miles to buy a GT185 that looked a lot worse in person than it did in the Craigslist photos. The guy wouldn't budge on his price even after I pointed out all the issues with it, so I shook his hand, wished him luck with it, and drove 90 miles back in the other direction with an empty trailer. Bummed me out, but it was the right call.

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